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Shepard retiring as Indiana chief justice

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Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard announced Wednesday that he is stepping down from the bench in March 2012. Shepard, who joined the Indiana Supreme Court in 1985 and became chief justice in 1987, is the longest serving state court chief justice in the United States.

Shepard has authored nearly 900 opinions and 68 law review articles. He co-created the Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity with Gov. Frank O'Bannon in 1997 to help minority and educationally and economically disadvantaged students succeed in law school. In 2007, Shepard was appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels to co-chair the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform with former Gov. Joe Kernan. Their report on how to streamline government became known as the "Kernan-Shepard Report."

Shepard has also served as adjunct professor at Yale Law School — where he received his law degree in 1972 — as well as at the Maurer School of Law in Bloomington and Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.

The Evansville native has been honored by his hometown — he is the inspiration for the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corp.'s Randall T. Shepard Academy for Law and Social Justice, and the Evansville Bar Association recently restored and named the Randall T. Shepard Courtroom in the Old Vanderburgh Courthouse. Shepard is married and has one daughter.

The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission, which is chaired by Shepard, will begin interviewing candidates in February. The governor will select the next justice.

 

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  • Inquiring minds want to know
    Justice Shepard is quite young as far as judges go. I was before Richard Cudahay last month -- over 80. A setting federal judge in Kansas is over 100. Shepard is Bill and Hillary Clinton's age -- went to school with them, in fact. So what does he have planned for the rest of his life?
  • A Brilliant Jurist
    Chief Justice Shepard is a brilliant jurist. He has served the state of Indiana honorably and with dignity. He is thoughtful and fair. The Judicial Nominating Comission has a tough job ahead of it. I have practiced law in Indiana for 23 years. With all due respect to my fellow attorneys, I cannot think of a single judge or lawyer who can fill Shepard's shoes.

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    2. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

    3. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

    4. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

    5. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

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